For all the GPS gadget freaks - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
Summit Master
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: , , .
Posts: 2,831
sandy is offline  
Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 07:40 AM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: n van, bc, Canada.
Interest: Collecting shoe boxes, trafficking sea shells, growing vegetables, and tracking the \"wood ape\" aka yetti
Posts: 830
Default

Very nice post actually. I think many people's views are changing on using a GPS-- as more of a toy than a tool. That being said, a GPS is still useful, especially in cases of low visibility. Still, I'm glad the awareness is growing beyond mere opinion and drunken GPS/compass conversations.
the743 is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 10:45 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 981
Default

GPS is more of a toy? LOL. It's like comparing abacus to a calculator, and calling it (calculator) a toy.

I wish I could read their study in detail to understand it exactly. Right now it doesn't make much sense when I can use my GPS together with the built-in compass - how can a normal compass ever beat that? Can anyone explain? Can you really get your precise location with a compass? Can you precisely navigate to a location, especially one that's just 100m away? If I hide a treasure, will you find it? Can you navigate at night, during low visibility, or when you see nothing but tall trees around you? Are you sure you haven't made a mistake identifying the landmarks you see with what's on your map? How can then someone say that GPS is less effective?

Arnold is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 11:24 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Canmore, AB, Canada.
Interest: Is eating sushi a hobby?
Posts: 1,251
Default

Looks like an interesting study.

Anyone here a registered user? I'd like to see who the participants were.
spicytuna is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 11:32 AM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: , , .
Interest: Mountains....
Posts: 6,300
Default

I hate it when people start pissing around wasting time trying to get a GPS signal and staring at their GPS when if they just paid fricken attention to where they came from, they wouldn't need it to get back.


Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Arnold


I wish I could read their study in detail to understand it exactly. Right now it doesn't make much sense when I can use my GPS together with the built-in compass - how can a normal compass ever beat that? Can anyone explain?
A normal compass does not rely on batteries which die in cold weather. It also won't readily break as easily when dropped. The display on mine stopped working for no obvious reason, never dropped with new batteries in warm dry weather.

Quote:
quote: Can you really get your precise location with a compass?
Triangulation is a pretty basic skill, so yes.

Quote:
quote:Can you precisely navigate to a location, especially one that's just 100m away?
Depends on how complex the route is...

Quote:
quote:Can you navigate at night, during low visibility, or when you see nothing but tall trees around you?
Same applies to a GPS and the question is too broad...depends on the terrain and that applies to both GPS and map / compass. Some GPS units don't work worth shit in heavy tree cover.





time2clmb is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 12:54 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ladner, BC, Canada.
Interest: this and that, here and there I may be boring, but i\'m never really bored... and that\'s all that matters. Isn\'t it?
Posts: 1,208
Default

they should have had a control group of Tokyo postal workers. I have no idea how they do it but they somehow get to where they need to go.
Lupin is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 02:05 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 981
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by time2clmb
A normal compass does not rely on batteries which die in cold weather.
Is this really a reason to not use a GPS? Just bring more batteries if they die on you. Or else I should maybe also ditch my dSLR and buy an old mechanical camera.

Quote:
quote: It also won't readily break as easily when dropped.
Never dropped mine. It's all in how careful you are. I did however fell on it hard once while biking, and it didn't feel a thing. Still works great.

Quote:
quote: The display on mine stopped working for no obvious reason, never dropped with new batteries in warm dry weather.
How often does this happen? Never happened to me in years of use. I still carry a small compass just in case.

Quote:
quote:Triangulation is a pretty basic skill, so yes.
Not precise enough, and easy to get a false reading. On the other hand, GPS is accurate to a few meters and you always know where you are, without making others wait for you while you check with triangulation. Can you honestly say that you can get your location accurate to a few meters with a compass? Can you do it when you're in a forest?

Quote:
quoteepends on how complex the route is...
Mountains are usually pretty complex. I also highly doubt that search and rescue teams use compasses to find victims, especially when they know their exact coordinates to a few meters.

Quote:
quote:Same applies to a GPS and the question is too broad...depends on the terrain and that applies to both GPS and map / compass.
How does it apply to a GPS? I can navigate at night, because I don't need to look for visible landmarks. I can simply follow the map on the GPS, knowing exactly where I am and where I'm heading. Triangulation won't work here.

Quote:
quote:Some GPS units don't work worth shit in heavy tree cover.
That's a problem of those GPS units, but not the technology itself. Always buy good and adequate equipment for your needs. With Garmin 60CSx I've never lost signal in any tree cover.
Arnold is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 02:23 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 981
Default

I remember one time on a hike, this is before I had a GPS, I absolutely had to find a small lake in order to get to my destination. Given that at the top elevation there was still snow (which I didn't expect) and the lake was snow covered, I couldn't see it and the shape of the terrain did not help at all. After some guessing and trial and error I eventually came to the right spot, but it wasn't an easy task. If I would have a GPS that time, it would be a lot easier, quicker, and less risky to find that lake. I doubt that study went through such circumstances.
Arnold is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 03:24 PM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: , , .
Interest: Mountains....
Posts: 6,300
Default

I'm not going to get into semantics with you on this. They both have their pros and cons and to rely on a GPS alone is stupid. You know this already since you said you carry a compass as a back up. Know how to use a map and compass.

Never rely on a GPS, always know where you are and pay attention to where you are and chances are you won't need either one. I have been out with people that rely on their GPS and it's a pain in the ass to sit their and wait for their punter ass to get a signal when you already know where to go because you paid attention to that gnarled looking tree on the way in to use to get around the cliff on the way out. That's all.

And triangulating is pretty quick...quicker than what it takes for a GPS to fire up on the first go and get a position.
time2clmb is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 03:22 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Invermere, BC, Canada.
Posts: 179
Default

I carry both and like its been said both have pros and cons. SAR in BC anyway is taught map and compass skills as one of the first essential things in training. Arguing over accuracy of a couple metres? If you're looking for a lake and need a GPS with that accuracy to tell you where to go? hmmmm. In the end both have their uses and its up to the user to know their tools.
Kootenay Kid is offline  
post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 08:01 AM
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Interest: hiking cycling cross country skiing
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by spicytuna

Looks like an interesting study.

Anyone here a registered user? I'd like to see who the participants were.
Sixty-six college students (11 men and 55 women)
participated in the experiment. Their ages ranged from 18
to 28, with a mean of 20.4 years.They were paid f5000 in
return for participation. None of the participants had been
to the study area before the experiment.
Iyautik is offline  
post #12 of (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 08:48 AM
Summit Master
 
pmicheals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Richmond, BC, Canada.
Posts: 2,674
Default

Quote:
quote:Can you honestly say that you can get your location accurate to a few meters with a compass? Can you do it when you're in a forest?
You can travel reasonably accurate Grids through forest using nothing more than compass and hip chain. If you establish your first reasonably precise known reference point and can manage dead reckoning, then it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
pmicheals is offline  
post #13 of (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 09:31 AM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Finally stopping that crazy suffering that is ice, climbing to concentrate on great ski tours!, .
Interest: Anything that can drag me to the mountains. Backpacking is #1, followed by climbing, dayhiking and camping with family.
Posts: 3,783
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by time2clmb

They both have their pros and cons and to rely on a GPS alone is stupid.
This. I am teaching my daughter to navigate using a topo map. We begin by just learning to look at the map, the terrain, and get a very good idea of where we are without using either compass or GPS. Just learning to see the terrain is an important skill. Then we pinpoint our location using a compass. Understanding the terrain and making decisions on the route is the essential skill and the GPS is one tool, not the decision maker.
johngenx is offline  
post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 10:07 AM
tu
High on the Mountain Top
 
tu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada.
Posts: 1,753
Default

Note that the following is a summary not by the authors themselves, and focuses on issues with limitations of current GPS design:

http://www.informedesign.umn.edu/Rs_...aspx?rsId=3256

I do agree the small screen of GPSes make for problematic wayfinding.

I usually use a GPS with a paper map because of this - you wouldn't use a compass without a map, would you?

I do carry a compass, but found I don't use it much these days, cause (1) they break so easily, (2) usually can't see much because of obstructions/weather, or (3) inaccuracy from magnetite.

tu is offline  
post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 11:38 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Coquitlam, BC, Canada.
Posts: 113
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Arnold
Not precise enough, and easy to get a false reading. On the other hand, GPS is accurate to a few meters and you always know where you are, without making others wait for you while you check with triangulation. Can you honestly say that you can get your location accurate to a few meters with a compass? Can you do it when you're in a forest?
All I have to say in reply to this is: How many times have you heard the joke about a GPS insisting you're in the middle of a river or lake, when you're quite obviously on dry land?

A GPS is useful, yes. Relying on its accuracy is a big mistake though, IMO.
BlackPete is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1